This post is a big departure from my normal blog posts which are focused on living lives of faith in God using His instruction manual, the Bible. However given our current political climate, and the actions of our highest governmental officials I was compelled to write and publish this post on the characteristics of a liar. While I have my personal opinions this post is not to point a finger at any one individual. I believe that many, perhaps most, politicians and government officials are truthful and honest the actions, results, and notoriety of those who are not leads us to believe that they are all liars. In addition to that, according to a study done by the University of Massachusetts 60 percent of people can't go 10 minutes without lying. The people in the study who lied did so three times during a brief chat. If the findings of that study are in fact correct and 60 percent of people lie often that would mean that a lot of Christians are in the number.
In identifying some of the characteristic of liars I hope to cause us (yes I’m including myself) to take a good look at ourselves, and ask God to reveal any of these characteristics in us and when He does, we confess them, ask forgiveness, and then repent .
Once we have removed the log from our own eyes then we can clearly see those characteristics in others and either steer clear of them or, if led and only if led by God, go to them, point them out, and suggest that they read this post. What they do after that is between them and God.
God Hates Lying
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NLT2) 16 There are six things the LORD hates— no, seven things he detests:17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent,18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong,19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. (Emphasis mine)
The Bible is clear that lying is a sin and is displeasing to God.
Exodus 20:16 (NLT2) “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
The first sin in this world involved a lie that Satan told Eve.
Genesis 3:1-4 (NLT2)1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.
God is the source of truth;
Daniel 10:21 (NLT2) Meanwhile, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one helps me against these spirit princes except Michael, your spirit prince.
Numbers 23:19 (NLT2)19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
Psalm 33:4 (NLT2) For the word of the LORD holds true, and we can trust everything he does.
Deuteronomy 32:4 (NKJV) He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.
And He requires His people to speak truthfully;
Psalm 15:1-3 (NLT2)1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?2 Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.3 Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.
Five Things All Liars Have In Common
Let me begin by saying that there are always consequences to lying. They could include broken relationships of all kinds including marriages, losing jobs, losing friends and the horrible label of being known as liar. Additionally, liars come with all sorts of dysfunction and they are not all alike.
They Are Insecure
People who are insecure may lie to make themselves feel better. They may spread gossip and lie about their successes because they are insecure, have an afflicted ego, and need affirmation. If this is a pattern in your life or others, try to address it as it is destructive. Here’s a suggestion. Write down what your best qualities are and refer to them in moments of self-doubt when you're tempted to lie.
They Are Good Listeners
A very good liar will learn about a person by listening to them. This is how they will know how they can pull the strings. If you have a low self-esteem, they will play on this when the occasion arrives. For example, they might tell you if you were a better partner, they wouldn't have to try to control things. Family Share summarized that tricksters know what you want to believe so they tell half-truths. "By studying you, they will know exactly what to say to manipulate your actions and emotions." If you see a pattern here, you need to confront the person that their distortions will no longer be permitted.
They Are Charmers
A good liar is so changing that it's hard to realize that they are being dishonest. A good liar is also charismatic. They can lie and smile at the same time! These kind of liars are hard to dislike and could be found in business and anywhere, including church. So, keep your eyes open for these charmers and set boundaries because this will limit them.
They Won't Overshare Information
Liars will not share information because revealing too many details could mean they overplayed their hand. They will twist accounts that have some truths to make you believe that they are legit. This a great way to keep you from seeing their dishonesty. Professor Aldert Vrij wrote the book, Detecting Lies and Deceit Good, and communicated that liars don't find it cognitively difficult to lie and they don't exhibit emotions like fear or guilt when they are lying. Liars who withhold information construct a story in deceit but are so good that you don't realize you're being lied to.
They Are Controlling
Liars want to shape the narrative to get what they want. We see this in business and in politics. "By making up something or stretching the truth, liars can manipulate how their listeners will react, especially if they know their audience well," Family Share reported. Controlling people use lies, manipulation, guilt or they may play on the insecurities of another person. Their ploy might catch you off guard. That is the thing you never know with a master controller--they will lean on whatever tactic to play you.
Excerpts from 5 Things All Liars Have in Common: Why People Lie by Corine Gatti
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Donald Jacobs is an ordained minister with the spiritual gift of teaching. He is the Associate Pastor of a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, CA.